By on March 28, 2019

It used to be that, if you were a “Ford Truck Man,” that’s all you drove. In fact, this author and his friends used to frequently quote the Toby Keith classic anytime someone exhibited an overabundance of brand loyalty. The borderline hysterical ad includes a scene with Keith hitchhiking through the desert, refusing rides from anything that lacks a blue oval on the grille. Hyperbolic for sure, but it kind of felt like that’s how people shopped for trucks back then.

Plenty of people still shop for a new pickups in this manner but, according to a recent survey, buyers are becoming increasingly less loyal as truck prices continue to climb. 

Average transaction prices have increased steadily across the board, settling in around $36,000 in the United States, but pickup prices aren’t representative of the national average. Your average U.S. pickup retails for roughly $48,500. While you can absolutely get them for less, optioning anything other than a regular cab with the base engine will push you well over the $30,000 mark.

CarGurus recently conducted a survey of 1,067 current and former pickup owners. The general consensus? Trucks aren’t a good value and have begun to suffer in terms of overall quality. In fact, 68 percent of surveyed owners said their own vehicle was overpriced. While this certainly hasn’t destroyed the segment (the very notion is laughable), 17 percent of respondents claimed they probably wouldn’t buy another pickup.

While 24 percent cited overly ambitious pricing as their main reason for ditching trucks, 42 percent claimed fuel efficiency was the main reason for the promised swap. Among former pickup owners who have already moved onto another type of vehicle, 37 percent now drive an SUV or crossover, with 35 percent selecting the tried-and-true sedan.

The Detroit Free Press reached out to Madison Gross, director of consumer insights at CarGurus, to see if more could be gleaned from the metrics. “What an interesting finding in that study,” Gross said. “What we see as the top reasons people are switching categories is that trucks have poor fuel efficiency and they’re high cost. Switching into a large SUV might not make as much sense as a sedan.”

Gross also said shoppers are less inclined to stick with their current brand, though the data provided wasn’t enough for us to agree without a caveat. The study showed that 70 percent of truck buyers would consider swapping brands if their preferred make “increased prices by $10,000.” It’s a fairly modest increase over last year’s 64 percent and could potentially be attributed to a reasonable margin of error. But it’s also phrased in a way that makes it difficult to disagree with. Gross elaborated further.

“Year-over-year, there wasn’t much of a change at the $5,000 threshold, but at $10,000 it got really interesting,” she said. “We’ve seen truck makers widen the audience they’re seeking for the truck. In the past it was mostly for a working or commercial buyer. Now people drive it in daily life. So the change in loyalty to a brand also is impacted by that.”

Toyota owners stood out as having the most loyal customers, with 40 percent saying they would not buy another brand’s pickup. Domestic nameplates were closer together, with about a quarter of their existing clientele saying they’d at least consider switching brands. Ford was the most common choice, edging out its rivals by a few percentage points. Meanwhile, Ford owners were slightly more likely to choose Ram in the event of a nameplate swap.

[Images: Ford; FCA; General Motors]

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104 Comments on “Survey Suggests Truck Buyers Growing Less Satisfied...”


  • avatar
    R Henry

    I don’t like it when stories here are inspired by stories from kinja.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    AS a truck owner who bought his 3rd truck-I would agree the value isn’t all that great. I purchased a new 2018 Silverado Crew Cab 4WD with every option other than sunroof and Navigation. It has leather, Bose, power-everything (inc. power rear window) etc. That thing stickered for $54,000.00 Granted-with the dealer discounts, rebates and $25,000.00 trade in (resale is crazy) there was only $20,000.00 to finance after all fees and taxes. Owning a truck is kind of like owning a piece of real property in the regards that you can keep trading up due to the “resale aspect” in to a nicer truck the next time around.

    • 0 avatar
      James Charles

      Except trucks don’t offer capital growth, insurance is proportionally higher and fuel-maintenance is a lot more. So, yeah a pickup is like realestate.

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        Well, the annual taxes are lower on the truck and it rarely needs a new roof. So maybe he had a point there?

      • 0 avatar
        CKNSLS Sierra SLT

        James Charles

        I never said anything about capitol growth. I said “resale value”. Also-I agree there are many that go in to truck ownership not thinking about the cost of operating (I think the article referred to mpg as a concerned) a truck. But there are ignorant buyers for just about any capitol investment you can think of. And if you are lacking facts going in to a purchase-whose fault is that?

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Key: ” I purchased ”

      As long as the vehicles are purchased, we can only assume they were priced appropriately.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Owning a truck is kind of like owning a piece of real property in the regards that you can keep trading up due to the “resale aspect” in to a nicer truck the next time around.”

      …until the music stops, there are no more seats, and the house of cards collapses.

      Then you’re sitting there well underwater with a vehicle you either can’t afford to run (gas prices) or don’t want to drive for the next 12 years but are forced to anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        CKNSLS Sierra SLT

        jalop1991-

        I was wise with my retirement-no matter where gas prices settle-I can afford the gas……..

        • 0 avatar
          redapple

          CKN…….

          I dont care about gas price either. It will fluctuate from $2.25 ish to 3.25 ish over the long term. If it hits 3.25 and hurts you (considering it ll only stay there 4-8 months and fall), YOU HAVE THE WRONG CAR. No sympathy.

          Even at $3.00 /gallon. It s cheap for what you really get. I call it a bargain, the best i ever had.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      In general when it comes to vehicles, the higher the price range, the less value there is per dollar.
      Ace of Base!

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    I like full size trucks, but I will not pay the new price for them, ever.

  • avatar
    Jon

    So… as the price increases due to the increased amount of mandatory options and more tech, quality goes down. Whoda thunk it.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Forced to buy mandatory options”? Okay…

      You can still buy trucks with two doors, vinyl seats, and rubber carpets for $30,000 or so. But, as the story says, the average price for a truck is more like fifty grand. That means the ones that are selling are the loaded-up ones, and unless I’m way off base, no one’s putting a gun to the heads of truck buyers and making them spend that much. They do it because the vehicles they’re trading in from are likely very well equipped. Consumers like their stuff.

      Matter of fact, there isn’t much that isn’t well equipped these days. The difference, of course, is that a well-equipped sedan goes for thirty grand, and a well equipped truck goes for at least forty.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        I bought my 14 3500 SRW Ram 4 wheel drive crew cab for 39k out the door. It was a left over model and in Tradesman trim – base radio, vinyl seats, rubber floor. Just the way I like em.

        Price the same truck in a Limited or Longhorn trim and the price nearly doubles, and this is where the value greatly diminishes.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    Dang that new Ram is pretty.

    I bought my wife a 2014 F150 FX4 and financed $43k. It’s been well worth it to us as we’ve used it’s truck capabilities, if not weekly, enough to appreciate having a truck. It’s also been dead reliable with but a single non-maintenance repair that cost just under $100. I thought it was on the expensive side then, but they’re even worse now. Of course, I think paying $30,000 for a compact car or SUV is insane too.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “financed $43k. It’s been well worth it to us as we’ve used it’s truck capabilities”

      I suppose I’m interpreting this wrong, but you certainly don’t HAVE to finance $43k to get “truck capabilities.”

  • avatar
    James Charles

    Brand loyalty means less to those who buy daily driving appliances, which pickups have become.

    You can brag about all that capability you have to your beer swilling buddies, but the truck rarely tows or the bed get scratched.

    Its about perception to many owning a pickup. They are a luxury to most who own them, not a utility vehicle. Utility and capability are words they use to justify their excess. At least when your invest in a proper prestige or luxury vehicle you get the badge.

  • avatar
    TR4

    “buyers are becoming increasingly less loyal as truck bed side heights continue to climb.”

    Fixed that for you!

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Millions of Dogs Struggling to Get Into the Back of Modern Trucks Without Help

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        LOL Matt. Perhaps they will evolve longer legs over time.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        MattPosky

        If it’s smaller than a Football it’s not a real dog.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Ha! True though. It’s crazy how automakers keep making trucks taller and harder to use, and then develop Transformers steps and tailgates to help us get our stuff (and dogs?) up into the bed. In the late 80s everyone and their brother drove a minitruck because the load-in height was the same as a hatchback and so was the price. Sometimes change isn’t progress.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The worst (or only) offenders with ridiculously high trucks are GM HD pickups, even 2WDs, but that’s mostly so their low-hanging diesel DEF tanks don’t run aground.

          I think the rest of us are happy with the current height of other fullsize pickups as high sides (and low decks) give lots more volume in beds. I can leave generators and other expensive power equipment and bulky tools in my bed and no one knows they’re there when parked away from the pack of cars.

          It just looks like any empty pickup parked in the dirt across from the diner.

          The little stuff I can’t reach, I shouldn’t have put back there (loose), or it should be dropped in tote or milk crate. Btw, besides tie-down straps, a milk crate is a must for all pickup beds. Worst case it’s also a step (up).

          You guys sound like pickup rookies.

  • avatar
    Mike-NB2

    Maybe this bodes well for the end of the truckopolypse. I’m heartened to read that 35% of former truck owners moving to a sedan. It’s a free country and everyone can drive what they like, but I will never, ever see the sense in having a full-size truck as a daily driver.

    (But an early to mid 70s 2WD regular cab with a six cylinder and three on the tree? That’d be a sweet weekend ride.)

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Make mine the Ford 300…though I would sacrifice three on the tree for the floor-shifted overdrive trans.

      • 0 avatar
        NECarGuy

        I’ve had both of these.An 82 F-100 with the 300 4.9L inline 6 and 3-on-the-tree. Also had an 83 F-100 with the 300 inline 6 and the 3 speed with overdrive on the floor. Both were regular cab, long box.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Make mine the Ford 300cid…though I would sacrifice three on the tree for the floor-shifted overdrive trans.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “(But an early to mid 70s 2WD regular cab with a six cylinder and three on the tree? That’d be a sweet weekend ride.)”

      I had one. Ford farm pickup, a ’79, I think.

      The world needs more of those. Seriously. Open hood, climb in, stand inside engine compartment. They should all be that simple.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    “Toyota owners stood out as having the most loyal customers, with 40 percent saying they would not buy another brand’s pickup. Domestic nameplates were closer together, with about a quarter of their existing clientele saying they’d at least consider switching brands.”

    If 40% of Toyota owners would not buy another brand, then 60% of Toyota buyers would buy another brand.
    If a quarter(25%) of domestic pickup owners would consider another brand, then 75% of them would not buy another brand.
    If 75% of domestic pickup owners won’t change brands, and only 40% of Toyota owners would not change brands, then it is Toyota who is losing the loyalty race.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Yep. Over all, 17% of pickup owners are unlikely to buy another, but for Tundra owners it’s 24%, according the “Study”. Is that “loyalty” or what?

      Maybe they should try another to get the bad taste out of their mouths? Without the Tundra it would be 14% over all.

      go.cargurus.com/2019PickupTruckSurvey.html?7521_rm_id=167.26626933.34

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    They are too expensive even with huge discounts.

    To those who comment about resale, they have a point. Until one day they don’t. People used to buy Camrys because of the resale. A notion that is laughable today. Or truck resale in 2008.

    Honestly nothing in this report seems very hard hitting. Toyota owners are most loyal? Oh no way! Same as it ever was.

    Side question: anyone else having lots of issues signing into the site the last few weeks ? Takes me multiple logins.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Maybe Rivian really has an opportunity in this space.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Every buyer in every segment values every part of the vehicle differently than any other buyer. For every buyer who loves your new elevated bed and imposing grille, there is another potential buyer who might not like it very much. But you’re selling to the one who does or did (or didn’t but overlooked it for other features they valued), and your sales are increasing, so you tell yourself things are fine.

      You can potentially learn more from the people who *didn’t* buy your vehicle (at the margin), but this is not a popular way to think among established brands – they are busy with the ‘arms race’.

      So yes there is an opportunity for new brands to think outside the box.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Value is such a relative thing.

    The sticker price of my F350 King Ranch was $66,000. I paid about $57,500. Is that a lot? Yeah it probably is. But when I look around at what else I can buy for that kind of money it becomes an indictment of the price of all vehicles, not just trucks. Is a 4 cylinder luxury sedan or a large crossover for the same money a better value? I question that.

    My truck has a luxurious interior, a 300K mile powertrain, an aluminum body that won’t rust, and can tow, haul, or plow anything I need it to do, while carrying my whole family. I consider that good value for the money. Do I wish it was cheaper? Sure. Was I willing to compromise on features I wanted in order to make it cheaper? No. Lower trim trucks are out there for those who want them. For some reason, buying a higher trim truck or even offering one for sale is the cardinal sin for an enthusiast. I don’t understand why.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Jack,

      F350 King Ranch is an amazingly capable and luxurious vehicle and if I had the money and the need I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one and I would never look back. You’re not spending $57K because the truck will hold some of that value (probably better than a lot of vehicles, but I’m not current on ALG residual values – which tend to be a fairly accurate forecast of resale). And when you compare your purchase price less resale to a little crapmobile, yeah you arguably got the better deal. Enjoy your truck!

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        Honestly, I didn’t consider resale at all. I factory ordered the truck without some popular options because I didn’t want them. I researched for well over a year before pulling the trigger and plan to keep this truck a long time. Around here trucks die of rust long before the powertrains quit, so the aluminum body was big for me. I could not be more satisfied with the truck.

        Thanks for the kind words.

  • avatar
    JoDa

    The governments are profoundly involved in automobile regulation. What did you think was going to happen? High priced garbage…like everything the thieving psychopaths touch.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Are you talking about cars in general? 4wd crew cabs with a decent dusting of luxury are fast becoming the de facto, most common pickups. Twenty years ago you couldn’t even buy a 1/2 ton (or midsize) “crew cab”.

      Speaking of “midsize pickups”, they’re a far worse “Value”, even before the rebates they lack, and let’s not even mention their horrible fuel economy.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I probably have bought my last trucks, but that is not just because of price but the fact that I will not need one in the near future after I retire and downsize. For the most part all I need is a compact crossover. I cannot see spending 40k and over for a vehicle especially one that I will not use most of its capabilities. It would be different if I needed it.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    sTUpiD sURveY. Besides what’s already mentioned why would pickup makers raise prices by $10,000? Have they ever? Without giving owners lots more options? Or just inflation?

    They list the top reasons “Truck Owners Consider Other Brands” as 54% “Price” and 47% “Gas Mileage”. Isn’t more than 100% just for the top two reasons?

    And don’t pickup owners know the price and mileage BEFORE they buy?

    “Value” depends on the owners anyway. Mine has paid for itself at least 80X over, while abused/neglected, beside providing regular transportation, free accommodations, etc.

    Plus I change the oil/filter at 50K mile intervals. Pickup trucks are a different breed. Privately owned/driven with normal care/maintenance, they’ll last you 50, a 100 years, who knows?

    Speaking of “Value”, what’s crazy is the Camry goes to $35K with options, worth about nothing in 20 years, but quietly rivals the total pre-tax “obscene” profitability of the F-series or Ram truck, etc truck lines, while selling a lot less Camrys.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Yeah they’ve gotten stupid expensive but what the hell hasn’t? They juiced the money supply by upwards of 90% since 2008. We’re measuring in half size dollars now and that shows up absolutely everywhere. Stocks, all time highs. Real estate, all time highs. Tuition. Insurance. Car prices. All of it. Fracking is going so incredibly well that we’re shipping energy out instead of in and gas is closing on 3.00 anyway. Monopoly money.

    What does anyone actually want to drive instead that isn’t $40,000 too?

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Dan,

      Excellent point.

      Publicly stated objectives of the Federal Reserve:
      – Maximum employment
      – Stable prices

      The Fed was established in 1913. A US dollar from 1913 has eroded to about 4 cents in purchasing power in 2019 (using ‘official’ figures).

      How are we doing on those objectives?

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        Just found this. In the 106 years from 1807 to 1913 (pre-Fed), a US dollar increased in value to $1.17 (i.e., stable with slight deflation).

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        On the real, if unstated, objective; transferring wealth from the productive to the connected; The Fed looks about 96% of the way to a full bore success.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          If I hear one more Fed conspiracy theory I’m going to vomit. I suggest “Secrets of the Temple” for anyone who wants to understand what the Fed is, what it does, why it does it, how it does it, and why it works. It’s a 1000 page book IIRC though, so set aside some time.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Once you realize “The Fed” is a private, for profit institution, and no more “Federal” than Federal Express, it all makes sense.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            DenverMike,

            Exactly. Toured a Fed branch – the security is provided by a private company, because the company paying the bills is also private.

            Bonus factoid: The word “deflation” does not appear *anywhere* in any of the exhibits. Because according to everything they tell you, the opposite of “inflation” is “recession.”

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      I could list a lot of vehicles less than 40k I’d drive, and a list of ones less than 30K even, but then I have always liked medium to small vehicles.

  • avatar
    aja8888

    My 1998 Ford F150 Lariat extended cab with every option available back then had an MSRP of $28,000. With one exception, that was the highest price F150 back then. Today’s prices are nutty.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      $28K in 1998 is over $43K today.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Actually his Lariat Supercab is priced less today at just $41,700! I hope he got some good rebates, but people love to forget about that darn “inflation”. It’s about 31K after full rebates.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          To be fair that $41,700 Lariat starting price is a 2WD truck with zero options and leaves out the $1,600 (!) freight charge besides. As actually stocked or bought you’re starting at 50, loaded is closer to 60.

          So long as I was on the build and price, for chits and giggles I built my 2016 XLT again and found that 46 and change is now just a hair under 50.

          This millionaire next door costume is starting to show some cracks.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            When did he say his was 4wd? We’re just trying to compare Apples to Apples, and he also didn’t mention if his Lariat was loaded with options. Bottom line, he was wrong about the new ones being overpriced, compared to historic pricing.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Only if 2+2=5 sometimes. Because, like, some man on teevee, like, says so.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The average pickup sells for $48500. But when someone pays that much for a Model 3, TTAC labels them as “well-heeled”, or some other mildly derogatory term.

    Somehow spending the same amount on a truck is completely neutral, but doing so on a car isn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      Both are bonkers.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Pickups are sometimes “justified”, used for work, career, business, write-off, RVs, etc. Perhaps not the leather and bling, but likely the 4wd, crew cab, dually and diesel.

        Even with up to 25% in rebates/incentives, the basic XLT work truck, full feature, plus payload/tow pkgs, can easily exceed the average “transactional”.

        But unless it’s clearly commercial, welding rig, utility body, Hot Shot, etc, owners get their share of the derogatory, pen!s extender, more “hat” than cattle, etc.

        When spending 14 hours or more a day in truck, or “the office”, many demand the blingy comfort of “Limited”s, Platinums, etc, and of course for maximum resale value. Or just max write-off.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      + 1

      For some reason a used BMW is considered fancy and frivolous but paying nearly $50K for a truck makes you just an average Joe.

      • 0 avatar
        Cactuar

        Both purchases are frivolous and most of the time foolish. I say this knowing that most people are living paycheck to paycheck and have hardly any retirement savings.

        Big hat, no cattle. It doesn’t matter the style of the hat, still no cattle.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      If you live in Montana, you see value in being able to plow through snow and pull a livestock trailer. If you live in Los Angeles, you see value in not generating more noise and smog. If you live either place, you see value in neighbors approving of you choosing the nicest way to do it.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    I know several people who are totally brand loyal, and I can’t understand why two of them are, after the many bad vehicles they have had over the last 30 years. I’ve had Dodge, Chevy, and GMC trucks. The ’03 Ram I liked the best of all of them, the ’77 Dodge was the worst. The 2 Chevy’s were almost totally bulletproof, but both of them were kind of gutless. The Sierra was ok, but I was happy to replace it with the Ram.

    One friend is waiting for his Bullitt Mustang to arrive. He’s owned nothing but Ford, ever, except for one Corvette in the mid ’80’s for about a year. He has had some truly pitiful Fords, and he keeps going back. His current F150 has had a ton of problems, most of them with the EcoBoost engine, and Ford just says, “too bad”. The dealer has helped him out with repair costs, but he’s still spent thousands of $$ out of pocket on that truck. He had a Windstar van that was just trash, along with an Explorer that had endless electrical issues. I had a ’77 Dodge Power Wagon that scared me away from Dodge for years, and it wasn’t as bad as the Windstar alone was. I understand the Bullitt, I don’t get his F150 love at all though. He’s planning to get another one, probably next year.

    Another guy is a Chevy/GMC fanatic. He’s never even looked at a Ram or F150. He’s had a GM truck since the early ’70’s in high school. He had one of the last 2 door Tahoe’s for many years and recently bought a loaded up Silverado 1500 4×4 that has had a lot of issues with sensors and modules. He has had a couple of very bad trucks over the years, but his loyalty is unwavering. His 36K bumper to bumper is about to be done with, as he drives a lot and had 4K miles on it before the first month was out. He was talking about trading it for another Silverado, and I asked him, “Why not look at a Ford or Ram?”. You would have thought I had made some sexual remark about his mom.

  • avatar
    gtem

    People like to say that it doesn’t make sense to buy used pickups, but if I were shopping right now, a 2-3 year old F150 XLT 4wd for about $24-25k would be at the top of my list. Trucks (or any car) going much over $35k I simply start tuning out. I’m simply too familiar with how much utility and life is left in old trucks that can be bought for $2000-4000 I guess.

  • avatar
    ajla

    You guys could save some money if you got 2WD.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Eventually people will realize the stupidity of paying for a vehicle by the pound. News Flash! Steel and aluminum arent really all that expensive.
    Pickups and Sedans have almost all the same types of parts and go through the same manufacturing process. There is nothing to justify the price difference of a pickup that is significantly more expensive than a well equipped car. Some difference may be justified, but nowhere near what is being charged.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Back in the day pickups were cheaper than cars because that was what the market would bear. Now that pickups are in demand instead of the full size car the mfgs have adjusted the pricing accordingly. It is really basic supply and demand.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        What makes you think pickups haven’t always been as pricey as cars?

        In the mid to later ’80s, the Mustang and F-150 both started at $7,995. They still start at a similar price, and can both go to astronomical.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Actually “pound for pound” pickups are not the most profitable autos. The Camry and Accord are more profitable “per car”, than any pickup.

      The top pickups are more profitable overall, but they have to sell a lot more trucks (and move lots more metal, including aluminum bodies) compared to the most profitable cars that still rival the pre-tax overall profits of the top pickups.

      money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/autos/1111/gallery.most_profitable_cars/index.html

  • avatar
    0Gravity

    That survey was from the Department of Obvious Research: consumers are growing dissatisfied by a vehicle class that has seen relentless price increases, yet offers poor gas mileage and its key feature – the truck bed – is something that most daily drivers rarely use. Try and spot trucks on the road with anything in the bed. It’s rare. Waste of space for most people.

    I believe 90% of the purchase decision for expensive trucks is status symbol and that they are perceived as more “manly”. I actually seriously wish more SUVs and crossovers looked manly or tough. Most don’t. They’re too smooth, curvey, and pretty. If more were “tougher” looking it might convert some guys who can only picture themselves driving a manly (and expensive) truck

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      That survey was from the Department of Obvious Research: consumers are growing dissatisfied by a vehicle class that has seen relentless price increases, yet offers poor gas mileage and its key feature – the powerful engine – is something that most daily drivers rarely use. Try and spot sports cars on the road accelerating at full throttle. It’s rare. Waste of power for most people. I believe 90% of the purchase decision for fast cars is status symbol and that they are perceived as more “manly”.

      I’m always confused by how so-called enthusiasts square this circle. Expensive V8 muscle car or sports car never driven on a track = good, Expensive V8 truck rarely hauling anything in the bed or towing a trailer = bad. There’s more than one way to be an enthusiast and some people just like driving trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        Normal sized to smaller sports car does not affect anyone else on the road in terms of forward/lateral vision, blinding headlights, fits in normal parking spots, narrow lanes, garages. Just about everything on a full size truck negatively effects the driving experience of those around them. Not to mention the 2-3000 lbs of dead weight they carry around make them more dangerous to literally everything on or near a road.

        I see your point, they both offer more than the driver needs, however, one is clearly less offensive when driven within legal parameters in urban/suburban settings.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “Normal sized to smaller sports car does not affect anyone else on the road in terms of forward/lateral vision, blinding headlights, fits in normal parking spots, narrow lanes, garages. Just about everything on a full size truck negatively effects the driving experience of those around them. Not to mention the 2-3000 lbs of dead weight they carry around make them more dangerous to literally everything on or near a road.”

          What bunch of whiney crap. Funny how all the things you piss and moan about never seem to bother me when I’m in my Volt. And sorry, but a $hitbox Toy Corolla can take me out just as quickly as a FS PU. The reality is I feel safer surrounded by trucks because they tend to be the better drivers. I

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “and some people just like driving trucks.”

        For some reason truck buyers have a hard time just saying that.

        I think most of the criticism would go away if they were just honest and said that they bought it because they wanted it. Instead a lot of truck owners do cartwheels to somehow “justify” their purchase by talking about landscaping projects and unpaved driveways. That’s how you end up with talk about minivan and utility trailer alternatives.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Yep. There’s a contractor in my town who has a fleet of 1990-something midsize imported station wagons (I live in a rust-free zone): Volvo 740, Toyota Camry, that sort of thing. All have racks on top for ladders/lumber/pipes. They drive well, sip gas, have plenty of well-secured locked storage, and room for the crew. And when there’s something bigger, he hooks up an aluminum cargo trailer. I don’t know if the guy is rational, or cheap, or prefers driving cars, or is European, but I like his style. Recently he made a grudging nod to super-dutyism by getting an aging SUV, but it only comes out when he’s got a big-ass load to tow.

      • 0 avatar
        0Gravity

        Point taken. But if we’re going to do some Whataboutisms then A) everything thegamper said and B) a sports car offers many more opportunities for a driver to enjoy its excessive capabilities than a truck’s excessive capabilities. Most owners of a fast car will tear away with glee from red lights dozens of times before a truck owner finds something to put in their truck bed. A fast car owner will enjoy comfortably taking hard corners dozens of times before a truck owner finds a reason to engage 4-low.

  • avatar
    RS

    After having 6 pickup trucks, I now drive a 2014 Chrysler T&C. Better MPG, storage and easier to get stuff into and out. Stow-n-go is brilliant.

    Trucks have gotten bloated and too tall and beds too short. Plus it’s difficult to find lower trim trucks on dealer lots. They just don’t order many and prices on most are way too high. There has to be a better vehicle design solution than the direction they are going with trucks.

    Looked at the Ford Ranger last weekend. $45K was the average price for those on the dealers lot (higher trim levels of course). Still too new for meaningful rebates or discounts. The Ram dealer next door was selling 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horns for $36K. Both were “One price” stores.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      I suppose part of it is that when manufacturers realized people were using trucks as commuter cars, they started trying to make them drive like cars instead of ox carts, and that takes money, especially if you’re trying to preserve heavy-duty capabilities for the minority of buyers who use them. I mean, drive a 1980s pickup — whether a full-size GM or a Ford Ranger or whatever — and what stands out is how terrible they were. You got a profoundly unpleasant driving experience and plentiful design flaws (tailgates that wouldn’t stay latched, rear brakes that locked up at the slightest provocation, your head slamming into the rear glass on acceleration). Drive a pickup now and you could almost forget you’re in a pickup, other than being eye-level with truckers and watching sedan drivers curse and shield their eyes from your headlights.

      With that in mind, I can kinda see paying significant money for a Ram, with civilized coil springs, an efficient hybrid drivetrain, etc. But someone who would pay significant money to be bounced around in a Tacoma that’s had a $0 development budget for 20 years…that mystifies me.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I was born in ’86 but even then, when I was growing up, a pickup truck was just for the farmers and hayseed folks (I’m not saying that was the case nationwide). People towing boats or travel trailers to a campsite were using full-size sedans/wagons, BOF minivans (Astro/Aerostar), SUVs, or full-size vans equipped with puffy seats/window blinds/VCRs. Yes, there were some trucks but it isn’t like today where it is 98% trucks. My grandfather died in ’95, owned various 2-axle campers for over 20 years, and I don’t think buying a pickup ever crossed his mind. He towed stuff with cars and vans.

        I remember getting a ride in a circa ’96 Dodge Ram (which in commercials looked really cool) and being very unimpressed with the way it huffed, rattled, and rambled down the road. There is a HUGE difference between an ’19 Ram and that ’98. And, that generation was already a major upgrade over the pre-’94 Dodges.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Yes, the days when you could get Suburbans for under $60K, cars and vans with real towing capacities, and there were hardly any crew cab trucks…

          We did a lot of family road trips in full size Chevy conversion vans. Those were still primitive, but had better road manners and were so much more comfortable than the trucks of the day. Meanwhile, I just got back from a 14 hour round trip of almost 1000 miles in my 1 ton truck today and got out feeling like I could do another 14. Trucks have come a long way.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Exactly. I just did 20 hours in my ’04 F-150 and arrived (feeling) fresh as a daisy. Only stopped for fuel, food, snacks, energy drinks, etc. Basic V8 STX, with at least 1,800 lbs in the bed and passengers, but that helps it ride so good.

  • avatar
    MerlinV12

    I think there is a huge swath of American men who purchase pickup trucks largely because pickup trucks are what their friends and workmates drive.
    Of course, they’ll never admit it, no one ever thinks of themselves as a herd follower. But there is an undeniable comfort in being part of a tribe.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I remember back when a truck was the cheapest vehicle on the lot. They were considered work-things and thus not very desirable aside from outdoors types. Of course back then they were down right strippers with no luxury items to speak of. You picked a bed style (long, short, step side) a transmission (manual!) and an engine along with 2WD or 4WD. The popularity came from customizing them with lift kits, brush guards and light bars. Or in my day – lowering them, adding huge subwoofers and neon underneath.

    While the Lincoln Blackwood was a massive failure it showed the future of “luxury” trucks. Before that you had the Eddie Bauer Fords where Dodge stuffed V10s into their high-end offerings. Maybe the market is due for a correction and this report is first warning sign of that. These things are massive, guzzle gas plus require a second mortgage to buy. That is all fine as long as that reflects customer’s desires. If these become uncool and the gig is up then what? 50% off!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      When were trucks “the cheapest thing on the lot”? Have F-150s ever been cheaper than Pintos, Festivas, Escorts, etc? You might have to special order a complete stripper F-150 (but do you really want one?), especially at the release of every new generation, but the same is true for Mustangs, and various others.

      Some dealers cater to fleets, so it’s not hard to find strippers.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Remember the minitruck craze and the lift kit craze? I think he’s right, for a minute there a minitruck cost about the same as a compact car and a full-size work truck cost about the same as a family sedan. We’re talking Carter through Bush I here, I think. If most cars were slow and horked gas anyway, then may as well get a truck: you instantly have friends (anyone who’s moving) and entertainment (oversteer!).

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I think the USDMs are hedging their bets with more masculine car based SUVs. The Bronco, Blazer are all familiar nameplates that are more aggressively styled. Even the new Rav 4 is fairly flared out.The Telluride is pretty butch too.
    Most of these GenX and older folks who flocked to leather lined 2500 trucks were coming out of bland 4 door sedans from the 90s, so it was refreshing for them .Maybe their dad or grandpa had a CK or F100 back in the day. Maybe the rich kids they new had lifted mini-truck Toyotas, hardbody Nissan.
    What will hose the USDMs if some of those truck drivers see how cool some of the newer sedans are out there (Accord,upcoming Sonata etc.)

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    I no longer have much “brand loyalty” to speak of… but the Big 3 are well represented in my garage. I have a 2004 Corvette Z06, and 2017 Ford Focus ST, and a 2016 Ram 2500 crew cab 4×4 6.4L Hemi. When I went truck shopping, I hadn’t planned on buying new. But looking at trucks 2-4 years old, the prices were such that buying new was not that big of a leap. Yes, it’s easy to price one into the stratosphere. I went 3/4 ton because I figured I could get a better deal than on the heavily optioned 1/2 tons which littered the dealers lots. I found exactly what I wanted. Decently equipped, but not loaded. Best dealership experience ever. Under 5 minutes of negotiation. I was through Finance & Insurance in under 20 minutes. The truck stickered for $45.8k… purchase price was $35.2k. Yes… still a lot of money… but could have been far worse. There are a few things I don’t like about it, but am overall happy with the purchase. Mileage is just a hair better than the 2k SuperDuty it replaced.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I used to consider myself fairly loyal to the Ford brand, and bought or leased several new. However, since they stopped offering sedans or small hatchbacks I’m uninterested. The lack of manuals is moot since every manufacturer is leaving that space.

      I honestly don’t know who will build the next car I drive. If I have to be stuck with an automatic, make it a hybrid and a torque-converter or DCT. I’m still not interested at all in a CVT.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    After seeing a TV ad for (unnamed) pickup truck that you can buy locally for “$23,000 less than suggested list price”, I knew we weren’t dealing with a Honda Civic. Bad enough that one version of an American SUV(Navigator Black Label) approaches $100,000 MSRP, just how much is the MSRP on a 4X4 crewcab that there’s $23,000 margin and the dealer still makes a profit at the lower figure, for a pickup truck. Score one for the manufacturer and dealer. In line with Matt’s post above about trucks becoming less desirable lately, one of my Facebook friends announced this morning that he’s sold off his nearly new Ram(which he posted that he loved), because one, it’s a dark color that absorbs the heat from his Southern California desert environment, and two, filling up his 35+ gallon tank was killing his bank account. The replacement ride is a New Beetle convertible TDI painted light tan with like-color interior.

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      snakebit

      So-the dark color of his pickup (and the poor mpg) was an excuse to get out of (for him) a wrong purchase decision. The two vehicles are polar opposites in just about every regard.

      I am betting he doesn’t drive that many miles (based on his choice of a convertible) and his decision to dump the pickup will not pencil out for several years-if ever.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Roughly half the “buyers” were FORMER pickup owners. Wut?

    “Survey” results were predetermined beforehand, and they set out to prove the headline with a ridiculous premise.

    If they had more “former” pickup owners than current owners, wouldn’t they have to change the headline to:

    “Survey Suggests Truck Sellers Are Growing Less Satisfied…”?

  • avatar
    don1967

    As a latecomer to the urban cowboy party, I’d say it’s the expanding demographic of the truck market that’s causing both the prices to rise and the owner satisfaction scores to normalize.

    Truck salesmen of today have a lot in common with Harley Davidson salesmen of 5-10 years ago. They believe that recent sales trends will last forever, and their heads practically explode when anyone comparison shops. We’ll see how long that lasts.


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